Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Rhodes: Moeen Desire To “live, Breathe And Eat Cricket” Key Factor

Rhodes: Moeen Desire To “live, Breathe And Eat Cricket” Key Factor

Steve Rhodes says Moeen Ali's insatiable appetite and passion for cricket are major driving forces as he approaches the second anniversary of making his England breakthrough.

The Worcestershire all-rounder made his senior debut for his country in late February 2014 against the West Indies in an ODI Series in the Caribbean – and has not looked back since scoring 44 opening the innings in partnership with Michael Lumb.

He has stayed in the England set-up ever since and become a regular member of the squad in all formats of the game, playing a total of 71 international matches during that period – 23 Tests, 36 ODIs and 12 T20Is – plus warm-up fixtures.

Moeen has experienced a particularly busy winter and spent just nine nights back in England since the end of September – a short passage of time in December between the end of the series with Pakistan in the UAE and the start of the series in South Africa.

He is flying back home with the squad today (Monday) after featuring in the four Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is against the Proteas – ahead of the ICC World T20 in India next month.

Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Rhodes said: "Being an England regular for two years (straight after making his debut) is a hell of an achievement but the one thing about Moeen is that he is passionate about cricket.

"It is his job but it is also his hobby. He lives, breathes and eats cricket.

"His religion is obviously very important to him and his family but playing cricket is his hobby.

"So, when some people need a breather, some people need a rest, some people get a bit fed up with the job, well Moeen tends not to do.

"He tends to want to be hitting balls, practicing, trying to get better.

"He is very lucky that it is very much his job but it is also massively his passion and what he enjoys doing.

"That helps with the longevity of a career and managing to play as much cricket as he has done."

In terms of Moeen staying in the England side continually since his debut, Rhodes said: "He is an all-rounder. That does help. He has got two strings to his bow and if one fails, he can get out of gaol with the other one and vice versa.

"When both of them click together, as we've seen sometimes with Ben Stokes, then what a powerful cricketer an all-rounder can be."